The story continues...
* RPS reached out to the entire neighborhood to enlist other concerned residents in order to mount an organized effort to stop the developer from destroying the tree canopy on this 5 acre parcel.
* The RPS organization grew and at one time reached a following of over a 1000 individuals on our RPS Facebook site.
* Our opposition approach was from many angles:
1) We established a legal fund, funded mostly from the original dozen or so members of RPS and the adjacent property
2) We met with various City officials and Commissioners to make our voice be heard.
3) We met with the developer on two separate occasions to try and persuade them to design their plat around the live
oaks and relocate the cabbage palms.
4) We held neighborhood meetings regularly to get input and support from the neighborhood.
5) We put up large banners enlisting support for the cause.
6) We held a neighborhood outreach picnic at an adjacent property to further our support to stop this development.
7) We utilized various social media such as Facebook, Change.org<http://Change.org>, Mail Chimp, texting services, door
hangars, flyers, emails, and voicemails to keep the neighborhood engaged and City officials listening to our voice.
* The property owner with the help of the developer went back to the P&Z in August of 2016 for another attempt to get this plat approved and again it failed approval with another tie vote.
* Score two for the Riverland Preservation Society and zero for the developer!
We were able to enlist the help of our City Commissioner, Romney Rogers, Mayor Jack Seiler, City Manager Lee Feldman, the vision of Parks and Recreation Director, Phil Thornburg, along with other City Commissioners including our newly elected Mayor Dean Trantalis. They were instrumental in helping RPS and the Community to find the perfect use for this parcel; a park!
On September 12, 2016, City Commission unanimously voted to purchase the property for a park with the understanding that the City would preserve the existing character, integrity and unique lifestyle of the area. It was the intent of the Riverland Preservation Society, City , and Community that this new park would remain for the most part in its natural state.